Local service conversion rate

Z (In Store Visits)/ Y (Website Sessions) = X (Local Conversion Rate)

Solving the Conundrum of Organic Local In-Store Conversion

If you own a salon and you’re considering actually investing in legit SEO, how can you possibly know if it’s going to be worth it for your business? Just how many people visiting my site is going to represent an actual increase in the number of people coming in the door and making purchases? That’s where it gets rough.

How many sessions to instore visits?

There’s very, very few local service businesses even trying to keep track of how many clients they have vs. just counting their revenue from receipts. Even fewer are asking where people found them, recording that information and using it. It seems none of those unicorns are making those numbers public, so how can we find out what a “rough, general” conversion rate for local service businesses to in-store visits? I mean if you’re a virtual office, you will want to know just how many more people walking in the door to become tenants came from your investment in SEO. I asked some experts, and got SOME information…we’ll see if we can find that white whale!

[Thanks for all the experts who suggested other experts who might have an idea: Aj Kohn, Jon Henshaw, Mark Traphagen, Ian Lurie, Andrew Shotland, Darren Shaw]

Anecdotal & Personal Experience On Organic Local In-Store Conversion

“There are a lot of dependencies on this. We usually see 3-7% net conversion rate (i.e. 25% from landing page to call, 25% from call to customer / patient) from paid search visits in local, but organic is much more leaky.

That’s based on a few hundred clients, but it’s by no means statistically significant.” – Will Scott of Search Influence


“When I was at StyleNet, I only knew of 1 salon (out of ~ 5000) that seemed to do a good job of tracking this. The numbers they shared were about 100 visits to 1 new service client. At the time, we weren’t tracking calls & salon customers didn’t really use the contact forms on the salon websites. Times are alot different now but this was specific to your salon industry example. My experience was in 2010 but it looks like the studies are old too: 2013 & 2014.” Ross Jones of 2TheTop Design

Relevant Data & Studies On Converting Visits To Your Store

There are some conflicting but generally “directionally consistent” data points and studies. These don’t answer your precise question but here a few generally relevant studies. Greg Sterling of Local Search Association

Have We Found The White Whale?

 

  • Mobile: If 50% of consumers visit a store after a smartphone search…
  • Desktop: “34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same [visited a store after a search]”

Unfortunately, Google keyword planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs and other keyword tools don’t provide mobile search traffic estimates for queries… so we’ll need to use the lower number of 34%.

We can use my rough process to estimate  potential organic traffic,  with [nashville spa] as a quick example of a local service/retail query: 480 people searched for the query monthly, if we approximate that #1 placement will get 35%, that’s 168 visits.  If we use the lower desktop percentage of 34% that represents 58 in-store visits in a month.

Challenges: 

  • In these studies were these retail purchases at shoe stores or service businesses? Is there a difference between the two?
  • How many of these site visitors already knew about the business and just used local searches to verify location? (Counter-point- If location information couldn’t be found would they have chosen another business? How many?)
  • Does that ACTUALLY reflect reality of DIFFERENT industries represented in local search/local service businesses? Anecdotes suggest “100 visits to 1 new service client. [1% conversion rate]” &  “3-7% net conversion rate (i.e. 25% from landing page to call, 25% from call to customer / patient) from paid search visits in local”… Can real local organic search REALLY be such a high conversion rate to instore visits??Do I have this totally wrong? Am I interpreting studies wrong, or are the samples of those studies outdated? What do you think based on these anecdotes and data?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *